THE release of new research into the health and wellbeing of same-sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) youth has highlighted the need for community-based initiatives to address widespread homophobia and transphobia in Victoria.

Growing Up Queer, a report by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre released last week found 64 per cent of participants had experienced verbal abuse, 18 per cent had experienced physical abuse and 32 per cent had experienced other forms of homophobia and transphobia.

The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria set up State Government-funded Hey Grants specifically to improve the health and wellbeing of SSASGD young people, and CEO Georgie Ferrari said the Growing Up Queer report highlighted the work that needed to be done.

“When you read reports like Growing Up Queer…you can see the value of these small, community-based or school-based efforts that try to make environments safer and better for same-sex attracted and gender-questioning young people,” she told the Star Observer.

Ferrari said while many LGBTI organisations continue to run only through the hard work and commitment of volunteers, it was vital for coordinated government funding like the Hey Grants to make this work sustainable.

The previous round of Hey Grants funded projects including Transgender Victoria’s ‘What Makes an Ally?’ campaign to support relationships between young trans people and their allies, and YGLAM, a project using theatre to explore SSASGD young people’s experiences of discrimination.

Applications for the current round of grants close in May, and around $300,000 is set to be distributed to community projects.



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